The AREF RDF Programme aims to enhance the research competitiveness of emerging African researchers who are working on important challenges for human health in Africa.

In 2020, these challenges will include infectious disease and non-communicable diseases. AREF’s goal is to transform the opportunities for up to 15 talented postdoctoral scientists in Africa in 2020 to contribute to reducing the burden of disease through leading research that is responsive to African settings.

The RDF Programme enables talented early-career researchers to:

  • Acquire advanced research skills
  • Develop and test their own compelling research questions
  • Develop highly effective mentoring relationships
  • Grow their potential collaborations
  • Raise their profile through international networking


  • The fellowship includes a three to nine-month placement at a leading research institution in Europe or Africa, with additional support at your home institution before and after the placement, up to a maximum of £38,000.
  • Additionally, AREF will fully fund all workshops and mentorship support costs associated with the programme.


  • Open to research active post-doctoral scientists and clinicians who are nationals of and employed in Sub-Saharan Africa who were awarded their doctorate after May 2014;
  • Clinicians without a doctorate but who have a research-relevant Master’s degree and at least two and up to seven years active research experience can also apply.

How to Apply 

Guidance for applicants, the application form and finance and cost plan can be downloaded here:

Download the Application Form, Information for Applicants and Cost & Finance Spreadsheet, and email to before 12:00 GMT on September 23, 2020.